Former NFL player Michael Oher, whose life was depicted in the blockbuster biopic The Blind Side, has said once again that the film, while being inspirational to many who have seen it’s motivational story, did him a disservice as to how they portrayed him as a teenager.
During a recent interview promoting his new book, Oher said that the film understated his commitment and dedication to the sport of football, making him appear on-screen as if he was just going along with the Tuohy family’s concept of what was for his own good.
“At the end of the day, I had drive, ability. The want to succeed and be something, and it didn’t show the work ethic I put in to get to that point,” Oher told a reporter from Salon.
“You have to understand that came out in 2009,” Oher added. “When I moved in with the family, I was an All-American football player already.”
He continued to criticize the 2009 film for inaccurately portraying his football journey, emphasizing that he was already a recognized player before joining the Tuohy family. The movie suggests his talents emerged only after the Tuohys encouraged him to play football in a private school.
Oher, who moved in with the family just before his senior year, stressed that his achievements stemmed from his own hard work and resilience, urging young people not to wait for a “savior” or expect handouts, emphasizing that such wasn’t his mindset.
“I was putting it in my mind that I was going to be something from 11 years old when I started this journey. I wanted to be successful. It didn’t have to be football. It didn’t have to be sports. I was going to be a positive influence on society. If I had to have three, four jobs, I was going to be working. I was going to be something that could give me longevity, a peace of mind and comfort. I think it missed in those aspects, but I wouldn’t be who I was [without that] small part of my story.”
Oher’s criticisms of the films portray of him go back almost a decade, and have now added an extra layer of complexity to the narrative given the current lawsuit he has thrown at the Tuohys, who took him in and helped him obtain opportunities such as acceptance to Ole Miss that he otherwise might not have obtained himself.
Oher accused the Tuohys in a Tennessee court of deceiving him into a conservatorship agreement in 2008, which he realized wasn’t as he had always believed.
He demands the conservatorship be terminated and to be compensated for any additional alleged profits made off his story. The Tuohys deny the claims, suggesting they already agreed to end the conservatorship before Oher’s February discovery.